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March 2, 2006

Pet Peeves

Two quick pet peeves:

1. Pete called me earlier tonight and reminded me of one we both share. Making a verb out of a noun. His example was Campbell Brown on NBC (?) asking former FEMA Director Michael Brown "to bottom line this for me." Huh? Another goodie: "Let's dialogue." Using nouns as verbs does not make you look smart or sound intelligent. Trust me. Speaking simply is a dying art.

2. Calling a toll-free number and getting to speak to a "Customer Care Consultant" or some other inane fancy name for a person who answers toll-free phone numbers or works in customer service. I really like it when they promise me at the beginning of the call they are going to provide me with "excellent service." Sha-right. They can't do anything their script doesn't tell them without talking to a supervisor. Fortunately, it seems to be strictly an American call center ploy. Like giving themselves a more empowering title is going to make me feel better about navigating a menu tree that required 20 key punches, entering my account number (which you know they are going to ask you for again later), a reminder that the menu has changed, and 20 minutes on hold. It almost makes talking to my Indian call center friends halfway around the globe almost palatable. In those cases, the only thing Manish calls himself is "Bob" or "Larry."